Backhanded reporting

Backhanded reporting

: Well, the good news is that The New York Times finds something good happening in Iraq and actually credits Americans and even puts it on page one. The bad news is that it’s backhanded in the compliment (my emphases) in this story about Americans helping to dig a well for a town that never had one:

As a convoy of big armored vehicles picked their way, rut by rut, over the village’s zigzagging lanes toward the well, the dubious scene easily evoked the skepticism that has dogged the rebuilding effort all over the country.

But then a villager named Rabaa Saleh, standing among the swarms of children who had run out to meet the vehicles, gave his view of the proceedings.

“It makes people think good things are on the way,” Mr. Saleh said through a translator. “When this well is done, each time somebody takes a drink of water they will say the Americans did something good.”

Still, while local citizens like Mr. Saleh say they appreciate the work and are willing to credit Americans for paying for it, they often do not want to see Western faces at the projects themselves, fearing terrorist attacks and general hostility from ordinary Iraqis.

Want some more good news? Try Spirit of America.